RAJALA COMING OVER?

Toni Rajala has become a somewhat overlooked player in the Oilers pipeline. Adding #1 overall picks will do that to a guy.

According to this report (and if google translate likes me) it looks like Rajala plans on coming over to Oilers camp and then seeing how things shake out from there. Rajala is coming off a solid season for Tampere (SM-Liiga) but his NHLE’s since draft day have run in place:

  1. Age 18 (WHL) 82, 11-15-26
  2. Age 19 (SML) 82, 9-13-22
  3. Age 20 (SML) 82, 14-11-25

Rajala is listed at 5.10, 163 on his team page and would seem to be well down any pro depth chart the Oilers plan for 12-13. Wingers who are signed and clearly ahead of him would be Taylor Hall, Jordan Eberle, Ales Hemsky, Ryan Jones, Ben Eager, Teemu Hartikainen, Magnus Paajarvi. Oilers are likely to add Ryan Smyth, could sign Lennart Petrell and might draft Nail Yakupov.

Rajala would probably be a solid candidate for OKC Barons, but is he willing to play the same game as Linus Omark in the hopes Edmonton suddenly finds a 5.10, 163 winger useful?

At a guess I’d suggest Rajala is a long shot for NHL employment. However, that’s the fun in watching these prospects–you never know. Rajala was taken in the 4th round–101 overall–in 2009′s entry draft.

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25 Responses to "RAJALA COMING OVER?"

  1. sliderule says:

    After what I heard today Rajala,Reider and Pitlick are all in the mix to make the team.

    The reason is they are not picking Yakupov.

    Take it for what it’s worth but a oiler WHL scout had so many bad things to say about Yak that I can’t see him being the pick.As he is a Whl scout most of it’s got to be second hand.

    When you hear things about long shifts and parent involvement it sounds like oiler propaganda to justify not picking him.I thought he lived with Galchenyuk so it sounds like they are really stretching the BS.

    The pressure on Ryan Murray is going to be unreal.

  2. Lowetide says:

    I’ve heard about long shifts and 28 minutes a night, but haven’t heard any of the other stuff. Very much doubt parent involvement–surely we would have heard of it by now? I don’t recall when we knew about Lindros’ parents but do believe it was pre-draft.

  3. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide,

    Lindros’ parents were notorious pre-BANTAM draft.

    The Big E went through the same thing re: the Soo that he later did with Quebec. Shunned them both. Bonnie & Carl were right in the middle of it both times.

  4. Lowetide says:

    That’s it. Bonnie and Carl.

  5. Bruce McCurdy says:

    Lowetide,

    ♪ They lived a life together ♫ …

  6. sliderule says:

    I heard the same rumor about Halls Dad but from all reports from Oilers it had no merit.

  7. bookje says:

    According to Google translate – “Two and a half weeks the now, this reenattu. At end of month is considered small jäätreenit, and then back to dry for a while in training. Then there is the self-service section, any action taken by the end of July that we are in tune when an in-season preparation. ”

    I fully agree with whatever that says!

  8. Jesse says:

    sliderule:
    After what I heard today Rajala,Reider and Pitlick are all in the mix to make the team.

    The reason is they are not picking Yakupov.

    Take it for what it’s worth but a oiler WHL scout had so many bad things to say about Yak that I can’t see him being the pick.As he is a Whl scout most of it’s got to be second hand.

    When you hear things about long shifts and parent involvement it sounds like oiler propaganda to justify not picking him.I thought he lived with Galchenyuk so it sounds like they are really stretching the BS.

    The pressure on Ryan Murray is going to be unreal.

    Do you have any links to these conversations Sliderule? I’d be interested in hearing The stuff about Rajala, Rieder, and Pitlick.

  9. sliderule says:

    The Reider Rajala and Pitlick stuff is just my speculation after hearing how the Oil really feel about Yakupov.

  10. delooper says:

    The levels of paranoia Edmontonians can sustain is truly remarkable. I think it’s part of the whole bi-polar “deep winter” psychology. Edmonton is going to take Yakupov unless they get an offer from another team no sane person could ever turn down.

    LA is going to crush whomever comes out of the NJ/NYR series. It’s really amazing. LA is like this giant wet rag that smothers other teams. Their powerplay is miserable. If they had RNH on their team only for the powerplays they’d be so deadly.

  11. sliderule says:

    Murray is going to be the Oilers pick even if they don’t get a trade offer.

  12. delooper says:

    I hear Murray has decided to become a eunuch, dedicate his life to feeding the poor in rural India, never play hockey again, and *still* the Oilers are going to take him first overall.

  13. Ribs says:

    Well, yea. Just look at that poise.

  14. Ribs says:

    The most amazing Rajala number is the games played. I think most people figured he’d be a human accordian by now.

    It will be nice to see him at camp to see what he can do.

  15. Ryan says:

    sliderule,

    When I was in Vancouver last weekend having some cocktails at katz’s new crib, he told me that Lowe was pushing real hard for Murray. He said that Tambellini suggested that not picking Yakupov would put too much pressure on Murray relative to the fan base. He thought the safer play was to just pick Yakupov though he had no idea how to make trades unless it was at the deadline for picks and prospects. What’s really interesting is that they had floated the Murray selection to gauge the fans’ reaction or appetite for the pick itself. Right when he was going to tell me what his thought s were, I woke up…..

  16. PunjabiOil says:

    Murray is going to be the Oilers pick even if they don’t get a trade offer.

    Doubt it

    .

  17. godot10 says:

    I think Justin Schultz, Ryan Murray, and Jason Garrison would make Taylor happy.

    If you ink Schultz and Garrison, that lessens any extra pressure on Murray.

  18. Cactus says:

    sliderule,

    I’m glad that you’ve managed to substantiate that rather than resorting to wild speculation. We probably shouldn’t bother talking about the 1st overall pick anymore in light of your overwhelming evidence.

  19. delooper says:

    NYR-NJ game was mostly giant pileups in front of nets. NJ had a nice powerplay goal but otherwise it was all big pileups.

  20. Wolfie says:

    NJ vs. LA is going to be a stiff test for both sides. As much as I think LA is going to win this series it could just as easily go the Devils’ way.

    I don’t think LA has faced a team in this year’s playoffs with as much high-end offensive talent as the Devils have. Kovalchuk and Parise are a better pair than any of LA’s other opponents could put out there. Vancouver was without D. Sedin for most of the series. St. Louis had virtually no offence to speak of and neither did the Coyotes.

  21. ehuisman says:

    Google translate actually did an OK job this time. The original source of the comment is the official Ilves website. Rajala was chosen the most improved player of his team last year, and addition to telling he’ll attend the Oilers camp and find out where he’ll play next year after that, he also says that for the first time in a while he had a good summer, which was a big thing (referring to the most improved player “award”) and that he thinks he improved as a “comprehensive player”.

    Having seen Rajala play a couple of times during the season, I guess being the most improved player of the worst team in the league was deserved. He seemed much less like the junior trying to survive with the big boys and more like an obviously undersized, but skilled offensive dynamo. That being said, I don’t think he has any chance of making the Oilers roster next year.

  22. Schitzo says:

    Has Rajala served his mandatory 6 months in the military? The fact that he hasn’t missed any games would suggest not. Not sure where that leaves him as far as meeting his requirements before coming over to North America.

  23. neojanus says:

    Couple of quick responses:

    1) I still think Sutter has an 80% chance of being the next coach. I don’t care whether Lowe and Sutter both claim that nothing has been discussed; that just won’t be true. I think we’ll hear by this time next week.

    2) Oilers will take Yakupov first because he’s the best player available. Yeah, they are probably considering all options because scouts are (usually) thorough people… but I fully expect Yak to be 1st. We’ll find our defence through trading and development already started. You don’t pick a d-man first who isn’t even the consensus best d-man in the draft.

    3) I strongly disagree with whoever said the Kings will dominate whoever wins the Rangers/Devils series (AKA the Devils). I think the Kings would have dominated the Rangers, but this Devils team has just as much depth as the Kings, a better first line, and a better transitional game. This series will come down to Brodeur, Quick, and the first two games. The Kings have played fantastic hockey for most of the playoffs, but I have seen some breakdowns in their game the last little while (seams here and there, over aggression). Saying that, the Devils squander leads, lose too many faceoffs, and Marty has had some really bad periods. This series is one of the most interesting finals for awhile based on how the teams play and how they match up. It’s a flip of the coin for me, but I actually think the Devils have the slight edge based on the 4th line, the committee of their defensive play, and the fact that the Kings have had an easier road.

  24. Lowetide says:

    ehuisman:
    Google translate actually did an OK job this time.The original source of the comment is the official Ilves website. Rajala was chosen the most improved player of his team last year, and addition to telling he’ll attend the Oilers camp and find out where he’ll play next year after that, he also says that for the first time in a while he had a good summer, which was a big thing (referring to the most improved player “award”) and that he thinks he improved as a “comprehensive player”.

    Having seen Rajala play a couple of times during the season, I guess being the most improved player of the worst team in the league was deserved. He seemed much less like the junior trying to survive with the big boys and more like an obviously undersized, but skilled offensive dynamo. That being said, I don’t think he has any chance of making the Oilers roster next year.

    Thanks as always. Excellent information.

  25. justDOit says:

    Ribs:
    Well, yea. Just look at that poise.

    and you can’t have a little poise.

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